Jeff Koons ‘Split-Rocker’ Display at Rockefeller Center Extended

Jeff Koons: Split-Rocker at the Rockefeller Center, New York. Image courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

Jeff Koons: Split-Rocker at the Rockefeller Center, New York. Image courtesy of Gagosian Gallery


NEW YORK, NY,. —For those who have not seen Jeff Koons’s Split-Rocker, the over 37-foot tall planted form featuring more than 50,000 flowering plants on display at Rockefeller Center, this is the last chance. In response to the unprecedented attendance from art lovers, the display has been extended through Thursday, September 18. Located at the Rockefeller Plaza, between 49th and 50th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Split-Rocker, a public art exhibition is expected to draw more art lovers, New Yorkers and art tourists as the public art display comes to a close.

Split-Rocker follows in Koons’s experimental tradition of combining objects and two halves to create a whole.   Split-Rocker was inspired by his son’s pony toys.   To create this mammoth sculpture, Koons split and combine two similar but distinct toy rockers, a pony and a dinosaur (“Dino”).   The combination of the two uneven halves, especially the head, gives a cubist rendition to the sculpture.   To get the sculpture to the desired size, the sculpture was enlarged many times over to the scale of a small house. The enlargement of the sculpture brings to fore what can be described as a mingling of accident and design. As the model was enlarged, the split between the uneven halves become even more pronounced, becoming a profile and a light shaft.

Split-Rocker brings to the fore Koons’s experimental artistic instinct and his continued exploration of readymades. Unlike the legendary Puppy of 1992 that was also presented by Public Art Fund at Rockefeller Center in the summer of 2000, Split-Rocker is rather adventurous. While Puppy is closed and sculptural, Split-Rocker is architectural and hollow. It represents a fantasy shelter filled with childhood memories. It is like a tree house or a place a child will shelter and explore fantasy and visualize his dreams.

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At the Rockefeller Plaza in New York,   Jeff Koons’s Split-Rocker, the over 37-foot tall steel sculpture is hidden in plain sight. The vast surfaces of the public art project is “painted” with many thousands of live flowering plants-begonias, geraniums, petunias, fuchsias, and many more to camouflage the piece.  The only give away is the disparate sides of the head joined with a cubist objective. Although the Split-Rocker evokes a piece of classical topiary work, it is a technical construction birth in twentieth century invention.   Besides the extensive irrigation system within the piece, the sculpture is a blend of art and advance technology. Presented by Gagosian Gallery and organized by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer, Split-Rocker at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York is free and open to the public.

Paul Manship (American 1885-1966), Prometheus 1934, Rockefeller Center NYC

Prometheus 1934, a monumental sculpture by Paul Manship (American 1885-1966), at the Rockefeller Center is one of the most photographed images in New York City. Image courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

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